Palestinian–American Amjad Atallah is founder and President of Strategic Assessments Initiative(SAI), a not-for-profit organization committed to providing legal andpolicy assistance to parties involved in negotiations in conflict andpost-conflict situations. SAI seeks to bridge the gap between conflictmanagement as embodied in humanitarian assistance, development work andpeace operations and conflict–resolution, which demands a greaterinvestment of political will. Toward that end, SAI runs three innovativeprograms that link on-the-ground practicalities with the broader politicalconcerns of the major stakeholders.
SAI is currently involved in a Peace, Media and Culture Program seeking tohighlight successes in peace making, particularly among Palestinian andIsraeli politicians and members of civil society through popular cultureformats; a Stabilization Program in which SAI operates as an independentthird party engaged by stakeholders in a conflict to provide assistance toall parties seeking a negotiated peace; and a Scenario Planning Programwhich applies long term planning methodologies to comprehensively addressthe factors contributing to a conflict—be they economic, developmental,cultural, environmental or geographic—and generates projections of wherethe conflict is likely to lead in the mid (5-10 year) term. Mr. Atallahtravels regularly between Washington and the Middle East.
For the past three years before Mr. Atallah founded SAI, he advised thePalestinian negotiating team, and later Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas'office, in peace negotiations with Israel on the issues of internationalborders, security, and constitutional issues. He was also responsible forliaising with US government officials in Washington, D.C. on these issues.He was responsible for coordinating Palestinian cooperation with the SharmEl-Sheikh Fact Finding Committee (the Mitchell Commission), the GeneralZinni and Secretary of State Powell missions, and was heavily involved indiscussions pertaining to the Quartet "Roadmap", including monitoringmechanisms and other forms of third party involvement.
Mr. Atallah has most recently contributed to SAI's authoritative reportassessing the Palestinian security forces, Planning Considerations forInternational Involvement in the Palestinian Security Sector (July 2005).Mr. Atallah has also co-authored papers on the issue of third partyinvolvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict including PlanningConsiderations For International Involvement In The Israeli-PalestinianConflict, Part I (Jan. 2003), Planning Considerations For InternationalInvolvement In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Part II (April 2003) andPlanning Considerations for International Involvement in an IsraeliWithdrawal from Palestinian Territory (May 2004). He has also co-authoredIssues Of "Trusteeship" In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, presented to theBritish Foreign Commonwealth Office in December 2002.